Honda’s Civic has basically defined America’s small-car market since 1973. The current Civic, the compact’s 10th generation, is not only currently Honda’s most popular car, but arguably the most successful Civic ever. Replacing it is a big deal. With the 2022 Civic, Honda hopes to build on that previous success with a more sophisticated design that includes exterior cues borrowed from the larger Accord and a more modern interior. Sales of the sedan, which will become Honda’s most affordably priced car, will begin late next spring, but it’s just the tip of the Civic iceberg. A hatchback, a hotter Si variant, and a high-performance Type R are also on the way. Here are some design details we noticed on the prototype:
Full 2022 Civic Details
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Moving its A-pillar back two inches not only elongates its nose, it has given the Civic rear-wheel-drive-style proportions, which makes it look more premium. (It will have front-wheel drive, of course.) Honda has also widened its rear track by about half an inch, improving its stance and possibly its handling. This prototype is visually accurate, but it’s a roller without any interior, suspension, or powertrain. It’s also a mishmash of elements that will be eventually be seen on the Civic’s many variants, but not necessarily the production sedan. These include its Solar Flare Pearl paint and its black mirrors, pillars, and trim.
Honda designers have integrated the Civic’s rear spoiler into its decklid, eliminating a clumsy cutline on the current car. It’s a cool detail. They have also visually slimmed its A-pillars with small but brilliantly placed pieces of black trim and moved its side mirrors down to the doors. The only chrome on the prototype comes on the two Honda logos and the Civic badge on its decklid.
C-Pillar from the Accord
With its upswept and pointed C-pillar, the new Civic’s shape certainly borrows from the current Accord, but it’s less curvy than its larger brother, and its surfaces aren’t as complex. Interestingly, Cadillac’s CT4 and CT5 sedans have also adopted a C-pillar of this style.
The prototype’s LED headlights and taillights are production units, but it’s unclear if they will be standard. We doubt it. They’re connected by a hard, crisp line that runs the length of the car, adding visual length and motion. The Civic’s nose also looks longer—because it is. Its front overhang has increased about an inch, while its rear overhang is shorter by about the same amount. Honda has also increased its wheelbase a little more than an inch, but interior space remains the same.
Open Cooling Ducts
Surprisingly the two large cooling ducts in the front bumper are open. You can peek though to the front tires. It’s unclear if the duct will remain open on the production sedan or if this feature will be saved for the production hatchback, Si, or Type R. The prototype’s two oval exhaust tips and its 10-spoke matte black 19-inch wheels are probably Si or Type R hardware. Here they wear a beefy set of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires sized 235/35ZR-19.
Honeycomb Mesh Dash Trim
Inside, the Civic’s new cabin will feature hard horizontal lines and a clean sophistication pioneered in this class by the Mazda3. We especially like the honeycomb mesh trim that travels across the face of the dash, hiding its vents in plain sight. Although the rendering shows the Civic will stick with a conventional shifter, some models may get the push-button unit used in the Accord and other Hondas.
Digital Gauge Cluster
Like the new 2021 Hyundai Elantra, for the first time the Civic will have a digital gauge cluster, which we expect to be configurable. Now ubiquitous in luxury segments, digital instruments are still unique in the compact class. Some trim levels will also get a larger, 9.0-inch touchscreen, which will be mounted higher on the dash. Today the largest Civic screen is 7.0 inches. By comparison, the Elantra’s largest screen will be 10.3 inches. Honda will use the faster infotainment system now in the Accord and Odyssey, which has better graphics and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability
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